The National Union of Students have voted to crack down on anonymous social media to ensure “safer” SU elections.
Delegates at this year’s NUS Conference passed motion 303, which resolved to “open a dialog with Facebook, Twitter, and Yik Yak to introduce restrictions on ‘anonymous’ or troll accounts during election periods”.
It follows moves by the University of Lincoln Students’ Union to block Yik Yak on campus, although the NUS campaign was proposed by the union at the University of Surrey.
The approved motion also stated: “The use of social media during elections does more good than harm. Anonymous accounts have the ability to shield racists, sexists, and cyber bullies from campus disciplinary procedures.”
One candidate for NUS VP Welfare, Munya Mudariki, told the conference: “I’ll be damned if I let another student at my union be made to feel the way some of my students did this year. If you want to try anonymous trolling, try it with me.”
And Megan Dunn, the outgoing NUS President, said: “There can be too fine a line between accountability and bullying, but to be honest it’s not too fine a line.”
However, election social media was given some credit for good things, especially increased election turnout in SUs across the country and “the ability for the electorate to connect directly in real time”.